There is a process in order to get a role when it comes to any job and many of these start with submitting a CV. Writing one is not an easy task especially if you’re starting from scratch. The majority of employers scan through CVs within seconds before adding to a yes or no pile so it is important to make a good first impression so you can secure an interview. Take a look at O’Neill and Brennan’s tips below to help you get started.
Get the Basics Right
It is important to cover these common sections on a CV. These include: personal and contact information; education and qualifications; work history and experience; relevant job skills for the construction industry; personal interests, hobbies; achievements; and lastly some references.
Presentation is Everything
A well presented CV is crucial to your success in landing an interview. First impressions matter a lot so make sure it is printed on clean white paper, is well structured and not folded or crumpled up. Be sure to use A4 envelopes to post your CV to avoid the above.
Top tip The recruiter’s eye naturally falls on the upper middle area of the first page so be sure to include your most important information there. This is referred to as the CV hotspot.
Keep it Relevant and to the Point
It is tempting to waffle to pad out your CV but no employer needs to know your whole life story and this is the quickest way to land on the no pile. Stick to a maximum of two pages of A4 paper and keep things short and sweet. It is a good idea to include a picture of yourself too, this shows the employer who you are and by the time the interview comes the employer already knows your face.
It’s important to understand the job description so you can tailor your CV specifically for that role. It’s tempting to send out the same CV to lots of employers to save time but it will be obvious and come across as lazy and won’t work. Create a new CV for every job you apply for. This doesn’t mean you have to re-write the whole thing every time, just adapt the details so they’re relevant.
Use Your Interests and Hobbies to Help You Seem Relatable
Including your interests and hobbies on your CV helps the recruiter to see you as a person rather than just a piece of paper and can be a great conversation starter at interview stage. Different interests and hobbies can reveal a lot about you as a candidate and show off skills and strengths that are directly relevant to the workplace. If you’re new to the job market or have little experience this section is more important than someone interviewing for a more senior role as the more experienced you are the longer your CV gets so may not be possible to fit everything onto two pages. Relating a hobby or interest to the role you’re applying for will help a recruiter to notice transferrable skills.
A few examples of hobbies are team sports, blogging and public speaking. Team sports suggest you’re a team player with potential strategic skills, blogging can show off your written communication skills and public speaking shows you have good verbal skills and confidence. A few examples of interests are travel, social causes and nature and can tell a lot about a person.
Use Your Skills to Help You Stand Out from the Crowd
Recruiters are looking for people with both soft skills and hard skills. Hard skills are usually teachable for example speaking a foreign language or computer coding. Soft skills tend to be personality traits that are hard to develop so employers value these a lot for example time management and problem-solving. Once again be sure to include skills related to the job you’re applying for and have a good think about what you’ve done to grow your own skillset. Don’t feel pressurised to mention skills you’re still learning and stick to including skills that show off your strengths.
Tell the Truth
Do not be tempted to lie on your CV. Getting caught out at the interview stage would be majorly awkward to say the least but if you’re caught out once you’ve started the job it could land you in more trouble and get you fired!